After what seemed like a major success story when Santana came back after shoulder surgery to repair the torn capsule last year, the tear has recurred, putting Johan back on the shelf.
“A second surgery is a strong possibility,” general manager Sandy Alderson said.
Santana, who turned 34 earlier this month, is in the final guaranteed season of a six-year, $137.5 million with the club.
Santana returned to the majors last season and had first-half success, including the first no-hitter in franchise history on June 1. However, Santana faded badly before landing on the disabled list in August.
The Mets attributed the swoon and shortened 2012 season to multiple factors: arduous rehab work the previous winter that left him worn down, an ankle injury caused when Reed Johnson stepped on Santana’s ankle during a bang-bang play while the southpaw covered first base, and a lower-back injury.
We could all play the role of South Park’s Captain Hindsight here and say Santana should not have been allowed to complete his 134-pitch no-hitter last year. We all would have made the same decision Terry Collins did, and besides, we don’t yet know for sure if that’s what did him in. As Joe Janish has stated multiple times in the past, Johan has always had faulty mechanics, and more shoulder trouble was inevitable.
No matter what the cause, this is bad news for the Mets. If you’re looking for a silver lining, however, this opens the door for Zack Wheeler, much as the second departure of Tom Seaver opened the door for Dwight Gooden in 1984. However Wheeler shouldn’t be called up until at least May – and maybe June, for sound business reasons.